Dazzling Performance from Sandvik Coromant Diamond-coated Inserts

Super-hard insert grades offer
superior aluminum drilling

In order to overcome the challenges of chip formation and evacuation when drilling non-ferrous metals, cutting tool and tooling system specialist Sandvik Coromant has unveiled its CoroDrill® 880 CVD diamond-coated insert grades, GCN124 and GCN134. The super-hard properties of the diamond coating provide long tool life and combine with innovative chip breaker and geometry designs to guarantee superior performance when drilling materials such as aluminum. 

“Making holes in aluminum can be a challenging task,” explains Patrik Pichler, Global Product Manager, Indexable Drilling Tools at Sandvik Coromant. “Ductility and softness cause the material to make constant and prolonged contact with the insert’s cutting edges. As a consequence, the aluminum adheres to the cutting edge and creates a built-up edge (BUE) that makes chip formation and evacuation difficult.”

GCN124 and GCN134 diamond-coated insert grades are designed to offer the lowest cost per hole in most ISO N materials thanks to long lasting insert tool life and/or greater Sandvik Coromant, Diamond Insertsproductivity. The increased productivity could be gained from elevated cutting data as well as a result of less machine downtime thanks to fewer insert changes. Further advantages available to customers include easier handling in production thanks to the reliability and longer life of the inserts as well as enhanced surface finish inside the hole, which results from the ability to resist BUE and smearing effects. Reduced insert consumption will also help lower stock levels and environmental impact.

Among those set to benefit are automotive manufacturers drilling and boring aluminum components, such as cylinder blocks, cylinder heads, knuckles, housings, brake calipers, control arms, transmission cases, steering-column covers, and yokes. Moreover, the diamond-coated inserts will also offer competitive gains to any company producing ISO N parts as well as those performing niche composite applications, such as drilling GFRP rotors/blades for the wind turbine industry.

To highlight the potential of the new grades, when drilling a 22 mm diameter blind hole to a depth of 84.1 mm in a cylinder head made from 6061-T6 aluminum (90-100 HB), CoroDrill 880® mounted with the new N124 (peripheral) and N134 (central) inserts extended tool life from 700 to 3,024 pieces; an impressive 332% increase. The new insert permitted increased cutting speed, allowing productivity to increase by 33%. In total, some 300 hours of production time were saved, while overall cost per hole was reduced by 23%.

Similar success was achieved when performing through-hole drilling (22.5 mm diameter) in 20 mm-thick automotive front control arms made from AISi1Mg-T6 aluminum (150 HB). Here, the new CoroDrill® 880 diamond-coated inserts helped elevate tool life from 3,000 to 30,000 pieces. Productivity also improved by 10% as a result of less machine downtime for insert indexing, while cost per hole was reduced by 17%. 

GCN124 and GCN134 are now the First Choice insert grades for ISO N materials. They complement the existing H13A, uncoated insert from Sandvik Coromant, which remains the recommended insert in applications involving shorter production runs and/or difficult interrupted cuts.

The standard CoroDrill 880® range features indexable insert drills from 12 to 84 mm (0.472–3.307 inches) in diameter, with drill lengths of 2, 3, 4, and 5 × D. With Sandvik Coromant’s Tailor Made offer, it is possible to order intermediate diameter and length combinations as well as different connection types and sizes such as HSK, Coromant Capto®, or cylindrical shank. One of the Tailor Made options includes the ability to design customized step and chamfer drills for specific components.

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About Sandvik Coromant

Part of global industrial engineering group Sandvik, Sandvik Coromant is at the forefront of manufacturing tools, machining solutions and knowledge that drive industry standards and innovations demanded by the metalworking industry now and into the next industrial era. Educational support, extensive R&D investment and strong customer partnerships ensure the development of machining technologies that change, lead and drive the future of manufacturing. Sandvik Coromant owns over 3100 patents worldwide, employs over 8,000 staff, and is represented in 150 countries.

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